Thursday, 26 May 2016

The One You've All Been Waiting For // #paddyandkristinwed

I haven't blogged until now for a couple of reasons... first off, I think I've been suffering from that post-event flatness. You know the one I mean? When you spend so many months building up to a big event, and then suddenly, in a blazing, glorious, fun-filled momentous flash, it's over, and life returns to normal... and you sort of feel a little lost.

The second reason is I didn't take my camera. For one day, I was able to literally just basque in the moment, and it was wonderful. Wonderful to be fully, fully present. To not miss a single second, or only view a moment through a camera lens. It was wonderful. But it has left me without any personal record of a wonderful day, so to start off, I am completely indebted to the wonderful Cheryl Kinnaird and John Wray for giving me permission to totally steal their records of the day.

And what a day it was!

My little sister Kristin made the most beautiful bride. I'm not gonna lie... we always knew she would. But there is something about that moment when she's suddenly there in her dress, all bridesmaid and parent eyes pinned on her, and there's a split-second of silence before the compliments rush out. And rush out they did. And yes, my Mum had to excuse herself for a moment. A few teary eyes later and we were ready to help her with the finishing touches.

We had spent the morning at the hairdressers. A remarkably relaxed affair, complete with 7 young women (at 30, I was the oldest there, but would still like to class myself in the young category! That's OK... right?!) and copious amounts of caffeine and cocoa. We had left plenty of time and all sat in a row showing pictures of our styles of choice. There was a definite braid theme (which was RIGHT up my street) amongst the bridesmaids, and I finally got to wear my favourite waterfall braid... a style I've only ever managed to do on Ava. Kristin's hair was immaculate (for anyone who knows my sister, you'll know how major a deal this was!) and we all left giggling and happy and hoping that the hairstyles would hold out for the rest of the day. Without fail, they did. "Rush"... you did good!

We returned to my Mum's for a bite to eat, and I popped home to pick up the flower girls.

They looked adorable and were utterly in love with their flower crowns. It genuinely was the day all their Princess dreams came true... and I have been dealing with daily tear-filled breakdowns from Heidi ever since... "Mama... I want to be a flower girl again!"

By 2 o'clock we were ready to head to the church. Across three cars, we made the trip of 6 bridesmaids, 2 flower girls, mother-of-the-bride, father-of-the-bride and the bride herself. It was no small feat!

And then it was time for the entrance. Ava was first in line and had been well prepped to take her time and walk slowly. She did it to perfection and smiled her way down that aisle just savouring each dainty, carefully placed step! It was definitely a proud Mama moment. And Heidi? Well, it was only afterwards, when I saw the photos, that I realised she had held her little dress, princess-style, all the way down the aisle.

Heart melts.

And didn't they have the most dashing little accompaniments?!

The rest of us bridesmaids followed in pairs. And then came my sister, on my Dad's arm. Eyes darting between Kristin's approach, and wanting to catch Paddy's first glimpse!

The ceremony was lovely... a few watery eyes in the house as the vows were said, fantastic music (courtesy of my lovely husband Dave and the band), prayers, readings and a helpful talk to Paddy and Kristin about the journey they are embarking on. God-glorifying, thought-provoking and challenging... and just so much love for these two in that room... and so much hope and excitement about their future.

My brother and the lovely Emily did an amazing job as photographers, and I've had a little sneak preview, and though I can't reveal anything yet (I'll leave that to Paddy and Kristin), I can assure you, they will be worth the wait!

The signing of the register, some beautiful gaelic music (the Irish roots), the procession out, and suddenly it was over... and time to head to the reception venue for photos, fun and food!

There was a little light rain, but nothing that stopped the photos from being taken outdoors... and the weather actually provided the perfect light for some lovely photographs!

Honestly, the girls were in their absolute element... they adored all the attention, adored their beautiful dresses, and adored their flower crowns. They've pretty much talked of little else since...

It was such a fantastic afternoon... the venue looked beautiful and Kristin had thought of every tiny detail... from the flowers, to the table decorations, to the giant LOVE letters at the front. The children had little colouring books (which anyone who knows our girls will know how perfect that was). Jonas played ball and ate and slept at all the right times, and looked totally cute in his little navy suit!

(PICTURE: Dave and Jonas)

It just couldn't have been more perfect!

Each of the speeches were brilliant, hilarious and a perfect reflection of the couple... The cake delicious, and the band brilliant. Our little ladies were on the dance floor all evening (until Heidi crashed out and took herself off to bed in the buggy with Jonas!)

It was a wonderful day, full to the brim with laughter and joy and memories that I, and I know for certain two little girls, will store up forever.

The happy couple headed off around 11.30pm and the clear-up began. Three sleeping children were carried to the car and transferred, with little glimmers of smiles, successfully to their beds (OK, Jonas wasn't overly happy at being moved around and did some protesting, but pretty quickly settled). We stayed up another two hours, chatting through the day and replaying all the fun, conversations and general merriment to each other until the early hours.

It was a day to remember!

Paddy and Kristin, thank you for a fabulous party! Now this is where the real adventure begins!


  1. The perfect reflection of a wonderful day. Thank you Claire xx

  2. Oh wow it looks like it was a fabulous day and you and the girls look gorgeous - stunning dresses all round :)


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